Dictionary.com

march

1
[ mahrch ]
/ mɑrtʃ /
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verb (used without object)

verb (used with object)

to cause to march.

noun

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Mississippi’s nickname comes from the magnificent trees that grow there. What is it?

Idioms for march

Origin of march

1
1375–1425; late Middle English marchen<Middle French march(i)er,Old French marchier to tread, move <Frankish *markōn presumably, to mark, pace out (a boundary); see mark1

Definition for march (2 of 6)

march2
[ mahrch ]
/ mɑrtʃ /

noun

a tract of land along a border of a country; frontier.
marches, the border districts between England and Scotland, or England and Wales.

verb (used without object)

to touch at the border; border.

Origin of march

2
1250–1300; Middle English marche<Anglo-French, Old French <Germanic; compare Old English gemearc,Gothic marka boundary; see mark1

Definition for march (3 of 6)

March1
[ mahrch ]
/ mɑrtʃ /

noun

the third month of the year, containing 31 days. Abbreviation: Mar.

Origin of March

1
before 1050; Middle English March(e) <Anglo-French Marche; replacing Old English Martius<Latin, short for Mārtius mēnsis month of Mars (Mārti-, stem of Mārs + -us adj. suffix)

Definition for march (4 of 6)

March2
[ mahrch for 1-3; mahrkh for 4 ]
/ mɑrtʃ for 1-3; mɑrx for 4 /

noun

Francis Andrew, 1825–1911, U.S. philologist and lexicographer.
Fredric Frederick McIntyre Bickel, 1897–1975, U.S. actor.
Pey·ton Con·way [peyt-n -kon-wey], /ˈpeɪt n ˈkɒn weɪ/, 1864–1955, U.S. army officer (son of Francis Andrew March).
German name of the Morava.

Definition for march (5 of 6)

March.

abbreviation

Marchioness.

Definition for march (6 of 6)

M.Arch.

abbreviation

Master of Architecture.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

BEHIND THE WORD

What happens in March?

March is the third month of the year. It follows February and is followed by April. It has 31 days.

March is notable because it is one of the two times a year when an equinox occurs. Around March 20–21, the vernal equinox marks the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and the autumnal equinox marks the beginning of fall in the Southern Hemisphere. (The reverse happens around September 22–23.)

In places where spring begins in March, the proverb March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb is used to refer to the fact that the month often begins with harsh winter weather that eventually gives way to mild spring weather.

In the U.S., March also includes the day on which people in many places adjust their clocks for daylight-saving time by setting them an hour later.

March is Women’s History Month and March 8 is International Women’s Day. In the U.S., St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17.

The U.S. college basketball tournament known as March Madness starts in March.

The word march is also a common word meaning “to walk in a military formation” or “to walk in a purposeful way.” It’s not related to the name of the month.

Example: We had a blizzard last week and now people are walking around in shorts—that’s March weather for you.

Where does March come from?

The first records of the word March as the name of a month come from before 1050. It comes from the Latin Mārtius mēnsis, meaning “the month of Mars,” referring to the Roman god of war. The months of January and May are also named after Roman deities.

The ancient Roman calendar originally began with the month we call MarchMarch 1 was the first day of the year. Eventually, two additional months—what we now call January and February—were added so that the months would fall during the same seasons each year.

In ancient Rome, March marked the start of the military campaign season. However, the word march in the sense of walking in a military formation or in some other purposeful way is not actually related to the name of the month. The word march in the walking sense comes from the Old French marchier, “to tread,” possibly from the Frankish markōn, meaning “to mark or pace”—it’s not based on or related to Mars.

In astrology, the sign Pisces applies to those born between February 19 and March 20. The sign Aries applies to those born between March 21 and April 19.

 

Discover more to the story behind the word March, by reading our article on the name’s fascinating history.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to March?

  • Marches (plural)
  • Mar (abbreviation)
  • Mar. (abbreviation)

What are some words that share a root or word element with March

What are some words that often get used in discussing March?

How is March used in real life?

In places where spring begins in March, the month is often associated with its wide range of weather. Sports fans in the U.S. know it as the month that March Madness begins.

 

Try using March!

Which mythological figure is March named after?

A. Mercury
B. Mars
C. Maia
D. Madne

Example sentences from the Web for march

British Dictionary definitions for march (1 of 6)

march1
/ (mɑːtʃ) /

verb

noun

Derived forms of march

marcher, noun

Word Origin for march

C16: from Old French marchier to tread, probably of Germanic origin; compare Old English mearcian to mark 1

British Dictionary definitions for march (2 of 6)

march2
/ (mɑːtʃ) /

noun

Also called: marchland a frontier, border, or boundary or the land lying along it, often of disputed ownership

verb

(intr; often foll by upon or with) to share a common border (with)

Word Origin for march

C13: from Old French marche, from Germanic; related to mark 1

British Dictionary definitions for march (3 of 6)

March1
/ (mɑːtʃ) /

noun

the third month of the year, consisting of 31 days

Word Origin for March

from Old French, from Latin Martius (month) of Mars

British Dictionary definitions for march (4 of 6)

MArch

abbreviation for

Master of Architecture

British Dictionary definitions for march (5 of 6)

March2
/ (març) /

noun

the German name for the Morava (def. 1)

British Dictionary definitions for march (6 of 6)

March.

abbreviation for

Marchioness
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Idioms and Phrases with march

march

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
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